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The Countdown to Thanksgiving is On: Here’s the Best Time to Book Flights



As part of a time-honored tradition each year, Skyscanner caps off summer by revealing the best time to book Thanksgiving travel.

And while that may seem like a bit of a hasty goodbye to the season, it actually makes perfect financial sense.

That’s because, according to Skyscanner’s data analysis from more than 90 million monthly users, domestic Thanksgiving travel favors those who book their tickets a mere two to three weeks in advance of the all-important family holiday. In fact, booking your turkey day tickets after summer has elapsed can save you as much as 20 percent, says Skyscanner.

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Skyscanner’s deep dive into its data also found that the majority of travelers (like to live on the edge) booked their tickets one to two weeks before Thanksgiving.

The data analysis also found that Thanksgiving travelers tend to fit into one of three personas:

—Almost 60 percent of Americans are midweek travelers, choosing to depart on Tuesday or Wednesday and return between Friday and Sunday

—Approximately 10 percent are week-long travelers, and travel weekend to weekend (Saturday/Sunday to the following Saturday/Sunday)

—Nearly 20 percent are same-day travelers, preferring to avoid the airport masses and depart on Thanksgiving Thursday and return between Friday and Sunday

—Skyscanner data found the number of people who fly on Thanksgiving day itself was double the size of the week-long Thanksgiving travelers

Regardless of which persona a traveler identifies with or where they plan to enjoy a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, booking at least two weeks in advance is recommended in order to find the best prices, says Skyscanner.

For those who plan to travel with the majority of Americans on Tuesday or Wednesday, Skyscanner says the most consistent deals can be scored by booking between one month and two weeks in advance.

As for the week-long travelers’ time window, the best time to find good deals starts from two months in advance of the holiday up until two weeks out.

And finally, for those that swear by the Thursday flight – it turns out there is truth to this rumor, says Skyscanner.

“On average, these travelers found better deals than other travelers. Not only that, they also had a longer booking window to score these deals – deals started up to three months in advance, and could still be found up to two weeks in advance,” the company said in a statement.

To help ensure travelers find the best deal to their destination this Thanksgiving, Skyscanner compiled the following tips:

—Set up price alerts for different departure dates, keeping in mind the majority of Americans will be flying on Tuesday or Wednesday

—Set up price alerts in advance, since deals do occur starting now

Finally, remember, this research applies to domestic data only. If you’re looking for an international trip during Thanksgiving week, it is always best to book international flights months in advance, says Skyscanner.

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